Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. It is crucial to surround yourself with like-minded founders and mentors who can provide you with the right resources and advice to set you up for success. This feeling of isolation is especially true for women-identifying entrepreneurs, who face additional barriers on their entrepreneurial journey, such as receiving less funding than their male-identifying counterparts.
In partnership with BDC, we spoke to women-identifying entrepreneurs from across Canada to speak about their unique journeys and the importance of community support in entrepreneurship.
Meet Christine Lieu, founder of CL Designs and the Brand Party Podcast
What is your elevator pitch to the world? How does it improve the lives of customers?
I am the expert behind CL Designs and the Brand Party Podcast. I help purpose-driven businesses create cohesive branding, web design, and marketing collateral to increase your impact and sales. My mission is to create with integrity and to communicate with a positive impact. As featured in the Top 10 Canada Design and Apple Podcasts’ New + Noteworthy lists, the Brand Party Podcast shares fun, honest, and actionable tips that you can implement RIGHT AWAY in your entrepreneurial journey.
What is the “why” behind what you do?
I traded in climbing the corporate ladder for climbing mountains around the world because my creativity needed a new challenge, and I wanted to change the world. I knew there was more out there that I could accomplish and help others without being defined by a title or limited on my creativity.
If it’s not challenging you (in a good way), if you’re not learning from it, or enjoying it, you should really ask yourself why you’re doing it.
Having a few personal health scares and a few loved ones pass away at an impressionable age, this has motivated me to live life on my own terms because it is short. It’s all about spending it doing what I love most, with who I love most, and spending my time efficiently. Through the work I do with the catalyst of design, I can inspire others to create their bold legacy.
What is your big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) of how you will change the world?
I am living my dream life! My BHAG is to help more businesses in the purpose-driven and non-profit space. I hope to lead by example and show others a non-traditional way to live your life through entrepreneurship and building your own business. My goal is to inspire others to come back to what’s most important to them.
My catalyst for this is through my VIP Design Days to get everything you need checked off your design wishlist in one day. Yep, you heard that right! Having earned my stripes in the fast-paced media world, and learning first-hand the challenges faced by startups through my own journey, (sometimes the hard way!), I wanted to provide lean and efficient design and branding services that would free businesses to push on with what they’re best at. These VIP Design Days have allowed business owners to reclaim quality time with their families, to expand their business in a way that feels integral for them, and to have more bandwidth to do what they love.
Having the privilege to take a full month off in my life and business, graciously doing it two years in a row, has been the ultimate reminder to slow down and enjoy this journey we call life. It’s allowed me to creatively recharge and better serve my clients in the process. You do not need to sacrifice your life for your work alone. When your values align, these things are able to coexist.
How has being a part of a startup support organization helped you grow?
Startup Canada and the Startup Community have always been great leaders in sharing stories and experiences of entrepreneurs in this community. They are generous with the resources they offer from events, podcasts, grant opportunities, and more! By having access to this, it’s continued to keep me inspired and influenced me on how I can in turn inspire others along the way as I continue to grow.
What is a piece of advice that you wish you knew before you started?
Focus on the gain, not the gap. There’s enough pressure from society and those close to us that we don’t need another bully within ourselves to sabotage what we want in life. Focus on the progress of how far you’ve come instead of what’s missing or lacking. For example, if in your first year of business, your goal was to make $50K in revenue, but you happened to generate $35K, focus on the accomplishment of how much you generated but also the impact you created with that, not that you were $15K short of your goal. This attitude of gratitude and celebration is what will keep you going on the not so “sunny days” as an entrepreneur.
Where is the best place for individuals to go to learn more about you and your business?
Need support on an upcoming project? Learn more about how we can work together at www.christineldesigns.com
Looking for free, fun and honest design tips? Tune into the Brand Party Podcast at christineldesigns.com/podcast.
The celebration continues…
Join The Afterparty weekly newsletter series that gives you your all-access pass to design and marketing tips to cross the waiting line. You. Me. Design. And Dancing. At www.christineldesigns.com/the-afterparty!